Digital Healthcare: Industry Overview
Digital health is a multi-disciplinary domain involving many stakeholders, including clinicians, researchers, and scientists with a wide range of expertise in healthcare, engineering, social sciences, public health, health economics, and data management.
The digital healthcare industry is the convergence of digital technologies with health, healthcare, living, and society to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery, making medicine more personalized and precise. The discipline involves using information and communication technologies to help address people’s health problems and challenges under treatment. What is driving the digital healthcare market? A growing number of smartphone users worldwide is key to driving the market growth and the rapidly growing healthcare IT infrastructure in developed and developing countries. Furthermore, a growing awareness about the importance of fitness and health among the population will increase product adoption, driving the market growth.
Impact of Covid-19 on Digital Healthcare
Since the pandemic, demand for healthcare services has grown exponentially. Digital health has proven itself useful for people in self-isolation to access medical services without risking their lives and putting the lives of others at risk while also offering cost-effective solutions. But more specifically, there has been a permanent acceleration of the use and cognition of virtual care due to COVID. From telemedicine to personalized healthcare solutions for people with chronic illnesses, there are plenty of growth opportunities in a post-COVID world, with consumer behaviour changing towards remote monitoring solutions.
Major Players in the Digital Healthcare Industry
The digital healthcare industry can be segregated by components (hardware, software, and service) or into product groups. With the latter, some categories include Telehealthcare, wearables, apps, and digital health systems. Diving deeper into some significant players in the apps product group, medical apps like Myndtec, Ayogo Health, Seamless MD, and fitness apps like Nike Run Club, C25K, Daily Yoga. Some apps are also dedicated to analyzing data reported by the population in self-isolation (crowdsourcing), such as COVID Symptom Tracker or Let’s Beat COVID. Wearable health tech can also help monitor asymptomatic populations for the early detection of the virus, especially for the most vulnerable people. These wearable gadgets provide vital information such as oxygen saturation, temperature, and ECG monitoring. This may allow the healthcare system to diagnose infected populations more effectively and monitor the recovery of outpatients. Stepping into the bigger picture, wearables have been adopted in a wide range of fields; however, in recent years, the technology has found potential in the healthcare industry to address spiralling healthcare costs, ageing populations, and the burden of chronic disease. In 2018, the wearable tech market was worth nearly $23B and is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% to $54bn by 2023.
Recap & Final Thoughts on Digital Healthcare
Digital health – the use of technology in health care to view information, transmit results, and access services – is growing every day. Digital health tools change how people interact with their health care teams and contribute to improved care for themselves and their loved ones. In Canada, 76% of the population says digital health can make accessing health care services more accessible and convenient. In comparison, 77% of family physicians in 2015 used electronic medical records, tripling the number from 2007. Furthermore, more than 90% of pharmacists using drug information systems report that the quality of patient care is better with these systems and that more than 95% of chronic disease patients in Ontario using Telehomecare to manage their health at home are satisfied with the service. In conclusion, the digital healthcare industry has accelerated its growth prospects immensely thanks to the pandemic.
More importantly, however, the industry itself is comprised of many start-ups and smaller enterprises with innovative analytical solutions and products that will improve the lives of customers and continue to generate value as digital health technology grows and evolves.